Has being in lockdown made you think about how to live more simply?

livesimply steering group

livesimply steering group

On this 5th anniversary year of Laudato si the Pope’s is calling for a “Jubilee” time for the Earth, for humanity, and for all God’s creatures. We have been dwelling on this for some time, but this devastating pandemic has shown us even more the connectivity of the earth and all humanity- it’s time to focus on “ecological conversion” in “action.”

We act as individuals and families, as worshipping communities (parishes and diocese) and as part of the whole world.    As with everything to encourage others to travel with us we need to start with “conversion,” pray and a plan. A manageable and practical way to get started is the  Live simply Award

The Award is a flexible CAFOD initiative inviting groups, with the support of their parish priest, to Live Simply, Live Sustainably, and Live in Solidarity with the Poor. It’s a chance to recognise and promote some of the great things you might be doing already and a chance to experiment and try something new. A positive evangelisation, new ideas give us a chance to outreach and include new people and for all of us to deepen our understanding of our faith by exploring it in a different way.

The initiative starts with a consultation and audit and then a plan to take on three challenges in each of the three areas of the Award. Once you have the plan, its shared with the whole parish so as many people as possible can be encouraged to participate. On completion there is a chance to invite two CAFOD assessors to come, giving affirmation, a chance to celebrate together your progress.

Maureen presenting livesimply award

Maureen presenting livesimply award

For the past few years my husband Stuart and I have been CAFOD live simply assessors, a great joy for us to visit parishes, meet people and find out about all the wonderful things being achieved. Each one is different, but all show a dedicated group committed to living out the gospel creatively.


  • The practical, wilding projects, bird house building family activity days, solar panels, monitoring of church emissions to look at greater efficiency, litter picks, clothes swops, highlighting Fairtrade products.
  • The spiritual celebrations, blessing of pets, outside celebrations in May, service s of reconciliation, days of reflection looking more deeply at the wonders of all the creator offers us and our response.
  • The outreaching the charitable fund raisers that brings the community together, the collaborative working with other churches, inter faith local green groups, the support for friendship groups within the parish and beyond, support for foodbanks and chances to share our activities and faith with others.


The season of creation might be a great time to explore together some of the many resources available working towards a conversion of heart.  We now have the Laudato si goals, the beginning of a seven-year journey. We need to play our part in this, maybe using the Live simply Award might be a practical place to start-

“Laudato si” Praise the lord

Maureen Thompson

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